From Kevin’s Desk: Advancing Positive Change (06/02/17)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

Last week, I had the pleasure of participating in a capstone event for a group of nearly 50 Facilities & Operations team members who have taken part in a year-long positive organizations training through the Executive Education Program at the Ross School of Business. They have focused on a lot of what we envision for B&F:

  • Building a positive workplace culture
  • Creating strong relationships
  • Helping people grow and develop
  • Increasing collaboration and team-based problem solving
  • Thinking creatively and taking measured risks without retribution

As part of the program, the participants also took on real-world “action learning” projects to tackle key issues ranging from communications to staff empowerment to simplifying financial practices. More than half of all F&O staff have contributed valuable insight and input to these projects through surveys and focus groups. The teams presented their initial reports at the event last week and the ideas were just outstanding!

The Ross program is just one piece of a significant transformation that F&O has been engaged in over the last year. We’ll be hearing more about this great initiative, as they continue to engage staff, refine ideas and create their collective way forward. I think it’s important to acknowledge that change is a learning process for all of us, and it happens over time, not overnight. It requires everyone – at all levels of the organization – to step outside their comfort zones and be open to listening and trying new ways of doing things. I’m so proud of the entire F&O team for their commitment to building a more inclusive, positive culture. If what I saw last week is any indicator, great things lie ahead . . .!

With much appreciation and gratitude,


P.S., We are SO fortunate to have a world-leading center on positive organizations right here at the University of Michigan. In addition to formal training, the Center for Positive Organizations at Ross offers a number of events that are free and open to anyone, including their terrific Positive Links Speaker Series, which starts up again in the fall.